Finding Galicia in Europe: European Travelogues of Early Galician Nationalists

Katie Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


Given the importance of travel for Galician national identity, symbolised by Otero Pedrayo’s description of the Galicians as ‘un pobo en camiño’, relatively little critical attention has yet been paid to the link between travel writing and the construction of Galician identity by early nationalists. This article therefore focuses on three travelogues by early Galician nationalists: one fictionalised (Ramón Otero Pedrayo’s Arredor de si, 1930) and two autobiographical (Vincente Risco’s Mitteleuropa, 1933, and Alfonso Castelao’s Diario 1921), offering a critical examination of the relationship between journeys and identity formation. Moreover, in the light of Galicia’s current position within the European Union, this article considers the impact of Europe – both the abstract idea of ‘Europe’ and the experience of specific European countries – in the development of Galician nationalism. It analyses how encounters with other Europeans engendered an increased sense of Galician distinctness from Spain and similarity with central Europe (in both cultural and ethnic terms), as well as providing examples of successful nationalism to emulate. Finally, this article asks how the reality of Europe today compares with the historicist ideal of Europe based on co-operation between distinct peoples shared by the three authors.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-21
Number of pages16
Issue numberG
Publication statusPublished - 22 Jan 2018


  • travel writing
  • Galician identity
  • Xeración Nós


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